The Fourth Ito Cabinet (第4次伊藤内閣)

Different from the previous 3 Ito Cabinets, this cabinet was virtually a party cabinet with Rikken Seiyu Party formed by government officials from ITO group and former Constitutional Party as the ruling party. This party was formed on October 1, and the cabinet was established by ITO who assumed the party president and imposed the Government by the previous Prime Minister, Aritomo YAMAGATA to disturb this party just after formation. All but the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Japan) and the Military ministers were members of the Seiyu Party. However, YAMAGATA attacked the Seiyu Party by making use of the Imperial Japanese Army and the House of Peers (Japan) and the situation was finally settled by the imperial edict of Emperor Meiji. In addition, after the influential person in the Seiyu Party and Minister of Communication, Toru HOSHI was forced to resign due to corruption, the conflict of opinions between government officials from ITO group and former Constitutional Party group not harmonized each other yet was revealed. On the other hand, within the Seiyu Party, there was a growing claim for commencement of new railway construction and the new Minister of Communication Takashi HARA made a great effort to stop it, but Kunitake WATANABE, the Minister of Finance proposed "Suspension of all projects depending on public bonds" at such time. Since railway construction was specified to be covered by issuance of the railway bonds in the Railway Construction Act at that time, this proposal virtually meant that not only new but also existing railway works should be all suspended. WATANABE was isolated by protest of HARA and other Cabinet members who were furious about this, which led ITO to announce his resignation, and from May 10 the Chairman of the Privy Council, Kinmochi SAIONJI who was a minister without official announcement served as the temporary prime minister.

Minister of State

[Original Japanese]